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Dreaming in
the Afterlife

2008 December 13

I had to have my beloved mare, Foxy, put to sleep late yesterday afternoon. She had colic during the night and after spending the day with her at the vet it was decided that she most likely had a ruptured small intestine. Not fixable.

My heart is broken. She was everything to me, for me and about me

- Linda

All week I dreamed of sorting, cleaning and moving for people I knew and didn't know. There were rickety stairs and crooked ladders and trails that were sometimes steep and sometimes broad and easily taken. Always in the dreams were animals to be taken care of in the middle of the chaos. This was the week of the coming of the full moon in December. A week of cleansing.

The past two weeks have been filled with lost animal work and dying animal work. People having me check in with their recently departed animal companions. How did they look when they left their bodies? Where are they now? Will they be coming back? Other clients now contacting me many months after the initial consultation for the lost pet... are they still gone? Are they dead? Do they have another family and life?

Linda's mare, Foxy, at home

And other, more joyful reunions of the wayward pet and the owner. "It's dark, I'm bored, I want an adventure!" "I'm stuck. Get me out of here!" "I'm hungry! Get me out of here!" The elderly person unwittingly locking the adventurous kitty in their garage. The police having to come and file the lock off to rescue him. Misunderstandings with dead kitties in garbage dumpsters vs. Lost kitty locked in garage with years of piled up garbage. This is one of the challenges and thus rewards of this work I have been called to do.

Then on the day of the full Moon, a sick horse. My horse. A lovely 20 year old red mare that I have been merged with since that first day. 17 ½ years of the two of us supporting each other. The man had tried to sell her - people gave her back. He tried to give her away - people gave her back. He gave her to me and she stayed. She was wild and scared despite being raised from a foal with everything she needed. Sort of like me. Well, a lot like me. This mare was the dream of my lifetime that at age 37 was fulfilled. A beautiful, fiery Gemini paired with a tall blonde Taurus. She stretched my mind and I grounded hers. The things we did for each other would fill books.

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Drawn by Linda after Foxy's passing

This day I went to feed her and she looked at me and screamed out her pain. I had known our time together was getting shorter and had asked her to please leave fast. Not to hang around in an old depleted body. I had felt that one of our animal companions would pass before the old three legged dog but didn't want to look too closely at the picture. Too hard. We spent our last day together at the vet where she was medicated for pain and enjoyed a last clipping of her thick fur and the feel of hot water on her belly. Then an ultrasound, looking for movement in the gut where there was none.

A privilege it was for me to sit with my hands on her hot body knowing this would be the last time for us to share energy in this way. Her purple gums, increasing heart rate and temperature were telling the story. It was cold, gray and a quiet day at the office so the vet had plenty of time to care for her. We made the decision to spare her a painful death in the late afternoon. It was raining by then. By chance, one of the employees there has land on which other horses are buried and offered her families services for my Foxy. She is now buried on a hill among the redwoods. It's been a hard weekend for me but this morning I awoke surrounded by all the spirits of the animals I have talked to over the years and more. The first one that came was Jake, an Australian Shepherd that crossed the bridge on that same Friday morning. I had known and worked with Jake for some time. He had cancer since last May and had quite a ride until passing.

Jake showed me my Foxy in the background. She stood out from the herd, a bright red against the snow covered horses. This was her gift after spending a life living alone with humans. Now she is truly running free with unclipped whiskers and her wonderful Arab head toss. Then came hundreds of animals in spirit, floating around and through me. What a wonderful feeling to be infused with and to be one with the freeness of their spirits.

They teach me what to say when people ask: how are they, where are they, are they out of pain, will I see them again?

My answer is that being in Spirit is wonderful. It is gentle, healing and above all freeing. No more sorting, cleaning or moving. A time for pure understanding and pure loving intent. A good reminder for all of us in our times of loss. And my thank you for my wonderful Windhorse, Tantivy's Foxy Lady.

Linda S. Wahlund

Linda with her beloved mare, Foxy